Best Buy outlines plans for assault on Europe

13 November 2009

LONDON: Best Buy, the consumer electronics giant, is planning to adopt an "aggressive" strategy in Europe, after announcing that it will open its first stores in the region early in 2010.

Originally, the American firm had hoped to launch its first outlet in the UK in the summer of this year, as part of its joint venture with the Carphone Warehouse, called Best Buy Europe.

To this end, it invested £1.1 billion ($1.8bn; €1.2bn) for a 50% stake in Best Buy Europe, an entity that contains the Carphone Warehouse's 2,400-strong chain, which sells a range of mobile phones and laptops.

Having postponed their initial timetable due to the onset of the financial crisis, the two retailers have now stated that their intention is to open as many as 100 outlets in Europe over the next three years, at least 70 of which could be based in the UK.

"We are not dipping our toe in the water here. We are coming, we are excited," said Brian Dunn, chief executive of the American company.

In the first instance, it will open two stores in Britain, with Best Buy Europe's management then going on to determine how quickly the roll out occurs, partly based on consumers' enthusiasm for the brand.
"I want to understand the rate of customer acceptance to our brand, and then I know our team here will move aggressively, and we will certainly give them the wherewithal – the capital, the resource – to move as quickly as they feel appropriate," added Dunn.

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by Warc staff